Train up the Jungfrau

Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 10:55 AM
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Train up the Jungfrau

We are staying in Lucerne and will have a car. We'd like to take the railway up the Jungfrau. Can anyone suggest the best station to ride from and what the likely fare and time of journey would be? We will be there late July/early August so any suggestions/tips would be most welcome. Thanks
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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:11 AM
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You could visit the Jungfraujoch from Luzern but it would a long day. Luzern to Lauterbrunnen is about 2.5 hours by rail. From Lauterbrunnen it's another 1.5 hours up to the J.

You would need a super-early start to the day because clouds start rolling in at the J around late morning, even on nice days.

Consider visiting the peaks near Luzern: Rigi, Pilatus, and Titlis. They are all great day-trips and very easy to do from Luzern. And not nearly as expensive.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:55 AM
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Drive to Lauterbrunnen via Interlaken.

Hop the Jungfraubahn train here - lots of parking at Lauterbrunnen station or other nearby places.

Take train up and back. About 3 hours return. Goes to the highest train station in Europe and a perpetual sea of ice, snow and glaciers - which you can walk to.

The main building has a restaurant and there are ice grottos to waltz thru- the views of course are spectacular as is the train fare - probably about $150 return or more!

Is it worth it? Depends on what kind of budget you are on. Can always get on -no reservations needed IME.

For lots on railways in this area check www.swisstravelservice.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com; http://www.seat61.com/jungfrau.htm. The official site has prices and schedules:
https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/

As Edward says check weather forecasts for the summit area before setting out.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:32 PM
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There is an early bird special on Jungfraujoch trains but you'd have to be in Lauterbrunnen probably 8 am or so.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 03:25 PM
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The big problem with your plan is that you won't know what the weather will be like at Kleine Scheidegg when you depart Luzern.

Thin
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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 05:10 PM
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Yup weather very fickle up top - good chance could be foggy/cloudy even if clear down below.

Take a look after driving there.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2017, 02:41 AM
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A standard RT ticket Lauterbrunnen - Jungfraujoch costs 190 CHF/USD. The highly discounted early morning ticket costs 135 CHF/USD.
Last departure from Lauterbrunnen with good morning ticket: 7.37
Last departure from Jungfraujoch with good morning ticket: 13.13
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Old Mar 23rd, 2017, 10:07 AM
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As noted, it all depends on the weather. There is little point in going up if it is in the clouds when you get there. You cannot assume any day will be just fine.

I once visited the Zermatt area and stayed in a hotel with a 'view of the Matterhorn'. In 4 days, the top of the mountain was not in the clouds, once.

Because nature does not work to suit the tourist's itinerary, it makes little sense to 'plan' when you will visit any higher elevations. The decision to go up or not has to always be made at the time.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2017, 12:28 PM
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I never understood why the Jungfraujoch trains were so so expensive - why- charging what the folks will bear? I assume many of tour groups get a discount but over 200 euros r.t. from Interlaken- and after Kl Scheidegg most of the route is in tunnel with a crucial photo op stop at some belvedere.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 03:24 AM
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"I never understood why the Jungfraujoch trains were so so expensive"
Because there is a high demand. In order to create this demand, the advertising budget of Jungfrau railway is enormous. They are actually investing a lot in the Chinese market.
And don't forget that the costs for a cog wheel railway at high altitudes are much higher than for a normal railway in the plane. And the multilingual staff get Swiss salaries, paid in CHF (the average wage of as Swiss engine driver is around 80.000 CHF/USD).
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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thanx neckervd!
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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At least the Jungfraujoch train is one you need not worry about which side to sit on to get the best views as it is nearly ALL in tunnel as it nears the summit.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 02:27 PM
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Why not consider going to Mt Pilatus or Mt Rigi instead? Both are easy to access from Lucerne with a boat trip across the lake and then railway to the top of the peaks. Both have great views.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 02:32 PM
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For more a Jungfraujoch like setting though from Lucerne take a train to Engelberg and take the famous rotating gondolas up to near the summit of Mt Titlis:

https://www.pinterest.com/engelbergtitlis/mt-titlis/
could also do part of the trip by boat.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 05:04 PM
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Even when the weather is not kind Jungfrau is a fantastic experience. Not to be missed IMO. The train is a wonderful feat of engineering through huge mountains and the two stops mid tunnel with window views out to the glacier are impressive. Once there, there is plenty to do and see even when the world disappears from view with clouds and mist.

The journey is very expensive but when you take it you realize the cost of building it and maintaining this wonderful feat of engineering must be huge. We purchased a Half Price pass for our one week holiday in Switzerland and the saving on this trip alone paid for it !

Make the effort and go, you won't regret it but get up VERY EARLY, drive to Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen and snatch breakfast on the way or even at the top. The restaurant food is OK and not too expensive.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 10:46 PM
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That's interesting info, neckervd!

I live nearby the Zugspitze, and the cogwheel trains to the Zugspitze glacier are about half of the cost as the trains to the Jungfraujoch.

The Zugspitze glacier is at 2,600m, and the Jungfraujoch is at 3,466, so maybe that extra 1,000m height of tunneling can account for some of the difference in price.

Also, of course, the German operators don't get paid Swiss wages, lol! Though they all are bi-lingual with German and English, but probably do not all also speak French plus Chinese/Arabic, etc.

s
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 10:04 AM
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Well since Jungfraujoch trains I've been on - thrice - have been fairly full it seems to me more charging what the public will bear -is it worth it? I agree with Helsie about that.
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Old Mar 27th, 2017, 10:03 AM
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Thank you everyone for your feedback and advice. $200 each seems very expensive but it sounds like it might be worth it if the weather is good. Thanks for the alternative ideas as well - I guess I will wait until we get there, to make the call on going up or not! Thanks again
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Old Mar 27th, 2017, 11:48 AM
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I agree with helsie - even if not totally optimal up top it is still a fantastic experience- but obviously go the first clear day.
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